Teach a man to fish, teach a client to Facebook
“Although I have a teenager and I watch her go to work on it, the whole social media concept was a little foreign to me,” said Harriet Hennigan, marketing coordinator at the Alzheimer's Association. “I guess I wanted to brush it under the rug as long as I could.”
But the chapter, which serves an 18-county area spanning southern New Jersey, Delaware and southeastern Pennsylvania, needed to be able to engage potential supporters online, making it easy to volunteer and promoting its fundraising events, like it's upcoming annual series of Memory Walks.
“They needed a little help along the way,” said Kristin Cardullo, senior account manager for Razorfish Health, which took on the chapter as a pro bono client. “We wanted to leave them with a step by step guide where they could do this on their own.”
The Alzheimer's Association Delaware Valley Chapter offers a 24/7 helpline, free consultations for newly-diagnosed patients and their families, and family and professional caregiver trainings in 150 languages and tailored to several cultures. There are around 294,000 Alzheimer's sufferers in the region.
Based on an analysis of how non-profits are using social media, the agency put together a strategy focusing on the top three social outlets – Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, the latter getting the most emphasis. Razorfish put together a Facebook page for the group, and then walked them through it, even distributing step-by-step reference cards that staff could stick on their cubicle wall.
For the Facebook page, said Cardullo, “We tried to give it a look and feel that suggests it's been around awhile. We tied to add a lot of information and phtos we got from them and put on some different posts to make the page look active and alive and make people want to come back and learn more.” The shop also schooled the group on analytics. Two weeks out, the page is “Liked” by 93 people.
“Obviously, people are looking for information on Alzheimer's,” says Hennigan. “Get the conversation started – that's what we want to do.”